I am physically and mentally exhausted this evening from another very full and emotionally charged day. I was trying to finish writing to update family and friends, but halfway through this piece I kept falling asleep and accidentally erased whole paragraphs twice…my body said sleep. Dan has now been gone for over a week and my brain is a tired jumble of questions and answers and to-do lists, all rattling around chaotically.
I was able to communicate more with Dan, which was a wonderful thing. Still no word from a doctor or nurse in days, but at least I am hearing more details from Dan. His favorite nurse, Misty, was with him, so he was happy and getting great care. Dan says that she is ‘old school’ and takes time to pamper him. The nurses always love him because he is such a sweetheart. We always say, “What’s not to love?!”
Dan woke up feeling pretty well, having gotten at least some relief from the incessant painful hiccups that have plagued him for days thanks to a new medication. Sadly they came back in the evening when we tried to talk, leaving him frustrated and very uncomfortable. They did another X-ray of his abdomen to see if the blockage was gone and to look again to see if damage had been done to his intestine during the appendectomy. This is what is so frustrating right now; Dan is not only facing the Coronavirus, but more seriously the complications from the appendectomy.
He hasn’t had solid food in five days, and they are slowly trying to introduce broth and light foods to him. Nurse Misty promised to get some of Dan’s beloved Belvita oat crackers for him to try to tempt him to eat. He won’t be able to even be considered to be released until he has successfully held down and processed solid food for a couple of days. I want him home so badly, but we both want him to stay where he is safest until he is well so that he comes home to stay this time. It just seems so far away at this point, which is heartbreaking for both of us. As far as COVID symptoms, he is experiencing a dry cough, runny nose, and hallucinations (which he said are not scary, but more like 3-D visual art). At least his fever has been gone for three days now- a blessing.
Other than a long walk with Marley, I worked from dawn until dusk yesterday, trying to get the yard in great shape before Dan comes home. I pulled weeds, swept down to the street, watered plants, bagged up fallen limbs and leaves. Yard work is meditative for me, and it is another activity that Dan and I typically enjoy doing together, making it medicinal, too.
For those of you who have read my blog for a while, you know that I believe in little signs from Heaven that always seem to come when I need them most. Since my mother died several years ago, buttons and marbles have shown up in the strangest places (she collected them). I have been asking her to look after Dan from her celestial vantage, and when I found an old marble while pulling weeds in the side yard, it felt like a hug from Mom. She is on the job, and Dan is in good hands. It gave me such a sense of peace.
I am being tested for COVID-19 this morning. I’m not looking forward to the very uncomfortable nasal swab, but so need to know what our quarantine together will look like. If I have the virus I can just be with Dan, if not, I will have to keep him in one room, glove up and mask myself each time that I go in to care for him. How sad is it that I want to have the virus so that I can just be with him with no barriers?
We had another Gainey family Zoom meeting last night. I am so grateful for this wonderful family who loves Dan so much and has rallied around me to give staunch support as I worry and wait. Dan is going to try to join us for a little bit at this evening’s meeting, and we may all cry to be together with him, even in this technological way. Small steps.
I’m going to attempt to teach my students (online) this week. It is so difficult for me to focus, but I want to be there for them. I’m hoping it will be good for me to go into teacher mode, interacting with my wonderful students, trying to find that ‘me’ who has been lost in worry and fear. That life seems so far away right now, and reconnecting with it will be good.
It feels like Dan and I are trapped in a nightmare with no immediate end in sight. The first goal is to get him well enough to come home. Then will be the long road of quarantine and slowly building his strength back up. He is so weak right now that he can barely walk to the restroom. I can already feel my heart roar protectively in anticipation. I will do everything in my power and give everything that I can to help Dan. Always.